From Tokyo To Gifu
We took the JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Nagoya, followed by the blue line to Shirakawago. After a 2 hour bus ride, we finally arrived at Shirakawago Village. The village itself is also listed as a world heritage site, with many anime (and of course, non-anime) fans flocking from all over the country to bear witness to the beautiful greenery and almost mysterious and mythical feeling of the village itself. It almost didn't seem real at first; especially coming from a city kid like myself, it was the type of view you would only ever see in historical movies and old Japanese folklores. But as soon as I got the camera rolling, it was anime hunting time.
Shirakawago Sites Used in "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni"
We unfortunately couldn't get to see a number of notable shots from the anime (e.g. Keichi's house, which was situated in the neighboring village we had no access to at the time) but regardless of whether you are a fan of gruesome horror anime like Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (or not), Shirakawago is still a big recommendation for those who want to truly experience a genuine rural Japanese town. The town's many eat-ins and gift stores also come jam packed with all sorts of goodies exclusive to that town and prefecture. I would definitely like to come back to maybe visit a few of the neighboring towns to see how simiilar or different it is to this town or the others. Let's just hope I didn't bring home the curse from this town...
If you'd like to see our travels to Shirakawago in video form, check out this little video montage I put together.